No relation to the Bonarda grape varieties of Italy, the Bonarda of Argentina is the same as Douce Noir, a grape that hails from the Savoie region of France. It also appears to be the same as France’s Corbeau and California’s Charbono. Confused yet?
Bonarda is the second most planted black grape variety in Argentina, taking up around 8% of the total planted area. It is grown throughout Argentina but is concentrated in San Juan, La Rioja and the warmer parts of Mendoza. As a late-ripening variety, it is one of the last varieties to be harvested in the country.
Wines made from Bonarda are usually deeply coloured, soft and fruity, with flavours of red and black fruit (strawberry, cherry, plum, cassis, fig), with fairly high acidity and medium tannin and alcohol levels. Bonarda is also used in blends, lending its colour and fruitiness to Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bonarda is mainly used for inexpensive table wine consumed domestically in Argentina (about 85%), but more recently (and encouraged by the success of Malbec) some producers are making more intense, structured and higher quality wines using old vines and lower yields of fruit - but still at reasonable prices. Lucky us! Definitely one to keep your eye out for in the years to come 🤩
Remember to check out future blog posts about the wonderful New World. You heard it first here on the Oh Grape Vine!
Argentina Bonarda Grape Varieties Red Wine
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